acta ethologica

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 91–98 | Cite as

Seasonal pattern of agonistic and marking behaviour of adult and young pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) males

  • Lucía Delbene
  • Rodolfo UngerfeldEmail author
Original Paper


Pampas deer (Ozotoceros bezoarticus) is an endangered species form the southern region of South America. The aim of this study was to describe and compare the seasonal changes in agonistic and marking behaviours in adult and young male pampas deer. The study was conducted in two groups of animals: six adult (4 to 6 years old) and six young (1.5 years old) males. Agonistic and marking behaviours were weekly recorded during 1 year. Both followed a seasonal pattern, closely related to the androgen concentration annual pattern and to the antler cycle. The frequency of both types of behaviours increased before or at the beginning of the rut. In general, the age of the males did not modify greatly the pattern of the agonistic behaviours. Adult males marked more frequently than young males, especially with the preorbital gland—a behaviour also used as a visual signal for other males in other deer species—also with a clear seasonal pattern. Overall, we concluded that pampas deer males have a seasonal pattern of agonistic and marking behaviours closely associated with the reproductive seasonal pattern.


Aggressiveness Cervid Pheromones Scent marking Testosterone 



Authors acknowledge Solana González and Matías Villagrán for the help in data recording, and Luciana Bragado for language revision.

Funding information

This study was supported by the Intendencia Departamental de Maldonado and the Comisión Sectorial de Investigación Científica (Universidad de la República), Uruguay.


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Copyright information

© ISPA, CRL 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de VeterinariaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay

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